September 2019 

Biktarvy begins to get listed on provincial drug formularies

Biktarvy is a pill containing the following three medicines:

  • bictegravir (an integrase inhibitor)
  • TAF (tenofovir alafenamide; the safer formulation of tenofovir)
  • FTC (emtricitabine)

In clinical trials, Biktarvy was as effective as standard triple treatment with a leading integrase inhibitor, dolutegravir. Biktarvy is generally well tolerated.

Biktarvy was approved in Canada about a year ago and its manufacturer, Gilead Sciences, has been engaged in negotiation with Canada’s provinces and territories about the cost of this drug. Subsequently, some provinces have added Biktarvy to their list of subsidized medicines (this list is commonly called a formulary). As this issue of TreatmentUpdate went to press, the following provinces had added Biktarvy to their formularies:

  • Alberta
  • Ontario
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan

In the coming months, other provinces/territories will hopefully add Biktarvy to their formularies.

—Sean R. Hosein


Yousef N. Breakthrough HIV medication now fully covered for Albertans. The Star Edmonton. 30 August 2019. Available at: